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Josh Haskell
Career Advice:
on Jan 25, 2009 at 12:55:57 am

Hello,

I currently am a college student taking some basic web design courses. I enjoy putting together websites and content and like to dabble with low end graphics. I am, however, NOT a graphic designer by any means.

My question is, what advice could you give to a "non graphics" person wanting to make themselves marketable to join a web design team at a company. I enjoy the CSS and xhtml part of coding and putting everything together. Is it possible to become marketable by gaining extensive knowledge in PHP, CSS and XHTML and still have a shot at joining a companies web team? Or do I have to be graphically elite instead?

I hope this makes sense. I love web development and putting all of the pieces together, I'm just not an artist. I'm confident I can take an artists work and apply it to a workable web page though...and that's what I'd like to do.

Suggestions for areas of emphasis?

Thanks! --Josh H.


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Fernando Mol
Re: Career Advice:
on Jan 25, 2009 at 3:07:21 am


To make web pages you need a...
-Programmer
-Coder
-Designer
-Writer
-Salesman

Also it will be better if you have a...
-Photographer
-Video producer
-Animator
-3D designer
-Salesman

So the answer is yes, you can make a team in a web design company, but you will rarely accomplish the task of having a happy client with just the programming and coding skills. Remember the web is about the people and graphic design is not about fancy graphics.

You are young, just let yourself go doing what you love. Your path will reveal itself in the proper time.



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Josh Haskell
Re: Career Advice:
on Jan 25, 2009 at 6:59:31 am

Fernando,

Thank you much for your insight.

From the list of jobs you have, the Coder looks like the one I would most enjoy. I'm not so sure about the programmer part though. I mean, Is the coders responsibility I assume to come up with the code in the correct format to get the page looking and acting as the designers intended correct?

What is the Difference between the coder and the programmer?

You say I'm young just because I'm in school, but I am 31 years old so that is not exactly young. I need to narrow down the skills needed to become a successful "Coder" from the sounds of it...and looking for advice.



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Fernando Mol
Re: Career Advice:
on Jan 25, 2009 at 1:13:54 pm

Well, about the "you are young" part, I was not intended to say you lack of experience in life, is just that maybe I have seen too many Clone Wars episodes recently and Master Yoda sometimes get too much into my head. Anyway, 31 (or any age) is as young as the flexibility of your both your spine and your mind.

My native language is not English, so I'm not sure of the terminology, but to my eyes there's a difference between a coder and a programmer because if you write HTML or CSS you are not actually programming, you are placing and styling content. You are coding.

If you use javascript, PHP or other languages that add interactivity to the web experience, then you are a programmer. The mind works different in each case, even if for the untrained eye you're just writing nonsense lines of text in both activities.



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Josh Haskell
Re: Career Advice:
on Jan 25, 2009 at 9:50:07 pm

---------------------------------------

Hello Again,

You say I can become apart of a web design team as just a coder. What specific skill set besides just xhtml and CSS are required or do you recommend?

What other duties does a coder have besides the placement of content and would any other areas of study be good for this position? Is it helpful and necessary for a coder to know some of the basics of PHP and JavaScript or should that be left to the programmers? Or should I try to master everything there is to know about CSS and such and that will be good enough? I'm looking for other areas I can focus on to improve my abilities in the "Coder" area. Thanks for all of your honest answers.

Josh H.

---------------------------------------




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Fernando Mol
Re: Career Advice:
on Jan 25, 2009 at 11:44:03 pm

Well, Josh, those are a lot of specific questions. I will try to answer two.

Is it helpful and necessary for a coder to know some of the basics of PHP and JavaScript or should that be left to the programmers?

You need to recognize the different codes, even if you are not good writing them. You should be able to tell the difference from javascript to PHP the same way you can tell CSS from an HTML tag.

Or should I try to master everything there is to know about CSS and such and that will be good enough?

In the end, your final goal should be to master everything (and rule the world!). But don't hurry too much or you will miss the sunset.




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Curtis Thompson
Re: Career Advice:
on Jan 26, 2009 at 3:23:34 am

hello...

it's pretty much what fernando is saying - i'd add that you can really never become good at a single thing in the computer industry and expect to survive. for example - i am very very skilled at php, but if i just did php and had no idea of html, css, javascript or other things, i'd be useless in the business. nobody wants a jack of one trade in the web development world...

(even the higher level programming languages need to be known - so for example, i know perl, php, java, a little python, a little asp, etc. - the more you know the better prepared you are)

but you can't learn it all at once. start small and pick things up as you go. take on projects in a variety of situations with a variety of tools...also look at job descriptions online - see what people are looking for there to get an idea of what you might want to focus on...stuff like that.

sitruc





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